If you're over 55 and remodeling, consider a few simple adjustments. Age in place design allows you to continue to live in your home for years to come.
Your kitchen is the heart of your home and the one room where you've probably created many of your most cherished memories. It's where you socialize with friend and family, host holiday dinners and help your kids with their homework. As the boomer generation ages, more people are choosing to stay in their homes. This new trend is known as “aging in place,” and it's causing us to rethink our lifestyles and our needs. Contractors, kitchen designers and manufacturers are all ahead of this trend, creating designs and products that help you to stay in your home safely and comfortably as you age.
With a few simple adjustments. You can age in place and continue to spend quality time in your home. Cooking is a daily activity for many, in fact a good portion of our day is spent in the kitchen. If you're over 50 and considering a kitchen remodel, look towards the future and consider adding some additions and minor adjustments to make your golden years more pleasurable, safe and enjoyable if you choose to age in place.
Here are a few of the hottest products and innovative design ideas to create the perfect “age in place” kitchen!
Over 55? Consider Safety and Convenience
Aging in place is about more than simply comfort, it's also about safety and functionality. As we age, risks to our safety and health increase for example, falls and health issues like creaky joints, deteriorating vision and loss of dexterity. Designing an age in place kitchen needs to consider these factors in both design and practicality. For example, easier opening cabinets with large handles or pulls, comfort mats in from of the sink and stove, and brighter lighting to make reading recipes easier are all options to consider.
Simple details that you may overlook, for example your choice of flooring can make a huge difference when it comes to comfort. Stone or tile floors can be hard to work on for long periods if you have arthritic hip or lower back pain. Opting for a softer material like cork can be much easier on your body. Consider other comfortable options like seated prep space so you can sit as your prepare meals.
As we age, the planning process of designing your kitchen takes on new meaning. Consider that you may eventually need a walker or wheelchair to get around. Leaving extra space around islands or counters can keep your kitchen functional for longer. Options like roll-under sinks or motorized counters and sinks that can switch from a standard height to a higher height can make access easier for homeowners in a wheelchair. If your vision is failing, brighter lighting can help you to read labels or recipes. Countertops with a contrasting colored edge can help you to see where the countertop ends.
Appliances, Cabinets and Fixtures for Aging in Place
Manufacturers aware of this trend are designing products to help the increasing numbers of people choosing to age in place. They are creating products specifically to address this market and make it easier to entertain, cook and live in your home for your entire life. Here are a few of the best for your consideration:
Appliances – Choosing the right appliances can make the difference when it comes to the functionality and safety of your kitchen as you age. Manufacturers are incorporating universal design principals to create and sell more functional appliances. Side-by-side doors on refrigerators, illuminated in-door ice and water dispensers, and increased door storage can improve usability for older people. Side operating ovens and range tops with larger controls located in front of the unit instead of on top can keep you cooking safely as you get older.
Easier access – If you need a wheelchair or walker to get around roll-under cooktops, sinks and islands allow easier access.
Modified cabinets – Slide out drawers, pull down upper cabinets and lazy susans make getting food and dishes easier for older homeowners. Adding “D” shaped handles and pulls allow people of all abilities to open and close cabinets and drawers easier.
Touch fixtures – Faucets with touch control are a great benefit for older homeowners. It makes access to water for cleaning and cooking as simple as touching the fixture. A single source temperature control can make a touch faucet even easier to operate and more convenient.
As boomers continue to age, more and more are opting to age in place. Planning ahead if you're over 50 and considering a kitchen renovation is a must. Know your options and work with your kitchen designer or design build contractor closely during the planning stage of your renovation. Contact Forward Design Build to speak with a designer. Consider installing appliances and including design features that can help you to live happily and safely in your home for the rest of your life.
Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.